Forgotten north east civils firms slam Government

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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Struggling civil engineering contractors in the north east have slammed the Government for ignoring the plight of Britain’s worst hit region.

Firms complain that the Government’s abolition of regional development agencies in favour of local enterprise partnerships has paralysed an the industry’s efforts to create jobs.

The North East region of the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association says there is now a vacuum with nobody left to fight the region’s case in Westminster.

Regional director Douglas Kell said: “The Government Office for the North East has gone out of existence.

“The regional development agency One North East is going. The LEPs succeeding have no budgets and no authority to give out work.

“And as county and local councils are only responsible for infrastructure inside their own boundaries, there’s nobody the North East industry can turn to for support in making a case for investment in key projects.”

He said: “Scotland and Wales have their own government and assembly close at hand that can, and do, make decisions they can back up with finance.

“In England the North East region is as far from Westminster as you can get geographically and it is being allocated no money for infrastructure now.

He added: “If LEPs’ powers increase in 2015 they may get resources to work with councils on this.

“But in the three years until then things will get even worse. The Government says it’s helping regions through the Regional Growth Fund. But how much has been apportioned to North East construction and civil engineering in this way?”

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